Thunder River Theater Company Carbondale

Thunder River Theater is a renowned theater company based in Carbondale, Colorado. Founded in 1995 by Lon Winston and Valerie Haugen, the company has become a prominent figure in the local arts community, offering a diverse range of theatrical productions year-round.


Lon Winston, a highly experienced director and actor, brought his extensive knowledge and passion for theater to Thunder River. He strongly believed in the power of theater to provoke thought, challenge perspectives, and promote social change. Valerie Haugen, on the other hand, focused on creating a supportive environment for artists, both professionals and amateurs, to thrive in their craft.

Since its inception, Thunder River Theater has staged over 100 productions, consisting of classic plays, original works, musicals, and contemporary pieces. The theater has built a reputation for high-quality performances, with their productions consistently garnering critical acclaim. Alongside live performances, the theater company offers educational programs, workshops, and community outreach initiatives, further enriching the local theater scene.

One of Thunder River Theater’s most remarkable achievements is their commitment to fostering inclusivity and diversity. They actively strive to represent a wide range of voices on stage and behind the scenes. Their productions often tackle socially relevant topics, challenging audiences to reflect on important issues such as race, gender, and politics.

Thunder River Theater has been recognized statewide for its contributions to the arts community. In 1998, Lon Winston was awarded the Colorado Theatre Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his significant impact on the theater scene. Their work has been enjoyed by thousands of theater enthusiasts, drawing audiences not only from Carbondale but also from neighboring towns and cities.

In conclusion, Thunder River Theater has left an indelible mark on the theater scene in Carbondale. Through their commitment to high-quality productions, inclusive casting, and powerful storytelling, Thunder River Theater continues to push the boundaries of traditional theater and create impactful experiences for both performers and audiences alike.